Sunday 19 May 2024

Young's hops in 1932

The hops used were all English. With the majority coming from Kent and the remainder from Sussex. Logically enough, as those were the two closest hop-growing regions to London.

The hops are mostly pretty fresh, most coming from either the most recent season, or the season before that, cold stored. (That’s what the CS stands for.)

East Kent, the poshest of hops, appears in the poshest and most expensive beers: the Pale Ales and the Strong Ales.

Which varieties were these hops? The East Kents were probably Goldings, or something similar. Those described simply as Kent were more likely Fuggles. Not sure about the Sussex hops. Maybe they were Fuggles, too. 

Young's hops in 1932
Beer Style hop 1 hop 2 hop 3
A Mild Kent 1930 CS Kent 1930  
X Mild Kent 1930 CS Sussex 1931  
XXX Strong Ale Kent 1930 CS EK 1931  
XXXX Strong Ale Kent 1930 CS EK 1931  
PAB Pale Ale EK 1931 Kent 1930 Kent 1930
PA Pale Ale EK 1931 Kent 1930 Kent 1930
P Porter Kent 1930 CS Sussex 1931  
S Stout Kent 1930 CS Sussex 1931  
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/1.

Saturday 18 May 2024

Let's Brew - 1970 Youngs Best Malt Ale

An interesting name that. Partly, for having the descriptor “best” in a beer off just over 3% ABV. Also, for avoiding the term “mild”. I’m not sure when they adopted the name. in the 1964 records, it’s simply described as X.

Putting the recipe together was a bit of a nightmare. On account of all the sugar. Namely, Flo Sweet, DAS and CDM. I know what the last was: Caramelised Dextro-Maltose. A shame it isn’t available. Flo Sweet seems to have been some form of liquid cane sugar. I’ve no idea about DAS. I’ve used a combination of caramel and No. 3 invest as a substitute for all three sugars.

The rest of the grist is no problem: pale and crystal malt, flaked maize and malt extract. All very standard ingredients. As were the two types of English hops. 

1970 Youngs Coronation Ale
pale malt 11.25 lb 66.18%
crystal malt 60 L 1.50 lb 8.82%
flaked maize 2.25 lb 13.24%
malt extract 0.50 lb 2.94%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.25 lb 7.35%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.25 lb 1.47%
Fuggles 120 min 2.00 oz
Goldings 15 min 1.75 oz
OG 1079
FG 1032
ABV 6.22
Apparent attenuation 59.49%
IBU 32
SRM 27
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 57.5º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

Friday 17 May 2024

Young's adjuncts and sugars in 1932

Talking of sugar, five different types were used. Though no single beer includes more than three.

Most common is No. 3 invert, which pops up in everything except the Pale Ales. Which makes sense. Though, on the other hand, they do contain black malt. Which makes no sense at all.

Second most popular is malt extract. Which, rather randomly, only appears in the Pale Ales and Milds. Usually, it’s there to deliver extra enzymes. Which makes sense if there’s a large percentage of adjuncts needing to be converted.

No. 1 invert turns up exactly where you would expect: in the Pale Ales. Which is exactly the type of beer it was intended for.

The Mild/Burton parti-gyle includes a small amount of caramel. Though the Porter and Stout don’t. Maybe the high percentage of roasted grains made it unnecessary. Caramel was quite common in these styles. At Fullers, they used two types, for example

I’m guessing OM was some sort of Oatmeal Stout sugar. And it was coupled with the only adjunct: oats. At least I think it’s an adjunct. It could have been malted oats. The record isn’t specific. Compared to other London Stouts, the percentage of oats in the grist is really high. Usually, it was no more than 2% or 3%.

Note that it’s the Pale Ales that contain the most sugar. That was often the case before WW I. When gravities were higher and brewers wanted to keep their Pale Ales, er, pale. Here, that can’t be the case, as there’s also a fair amount of black malt in the mix. 

Young's adjuncts and sugars in 1932
Beer Style oats malt extract no. 1 sugar no. 3 sugar caramel OM total sugar
A Mild   2.40%   8.01% 0.70%   11.11%
X Mild   3.00%   6.00% 1.03%   10.03%
XXX Strong Ale       13.13% 0.67%   13.81%
XXXX Strong Ale       13.13% 0.67%   13.81%
PAB Pale Ale   2.86% 11.43%       14.29%
PA Pale Ale   2.86% 11.43%       14.29%
P Porter 7.79%     5.19%   5.19% 10.39%
S Stout 7.79%     5.19%   5.19% 10.39%
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/1.

Thursday 16 May 2024

Young's grists in 1932

Let’s take a look inside those beers. Remembering that pretty much everything was parti-gyled, other than PA. Which was only sometimes parti-gyled with PAB.

Note that the majority of the base malt for everything but the Pale Ales. In the case of the Strong Ales, this was because they were parti-gyled with Mild. Most beers also had some normal pale malt, made from Californian-grown barley.

Crystal malt crops up in everything except the Pale Ales. Which is about what I would expect. Milds and Porters are, after all, the types of beer for which this type of malt was originally developed. 

The Pale Ales contained a majority off PA (pale ale) malt. The best and palest type of pale malt. The Pale Ales also contain a small amount of enzymic malt. Presumably, for pH adjustment. Not sure I really understand why it’s only included for the Pale Ales.

The Porter and Stout contain five malts: pale, mild, black, amber and crystal. Notably, there’s no brown malt. Which, wasn’t usual by this point in Stouts brewed in most of the UK. Though was still pretty standard in London.

Overall, at 85% to 90%, the total malt content is quite high. Probably because no adjuncts were used, just malt and sugar. 

Young's grists in 1932
Beer Style pale malt PA malt Mild malt enzymic malt black malt amber malt crystal malt total malt
A Mild 16.82%   64.86%       7.21% 88.89%
X Mild 22.49%   58.48%       9.00% 89.97%
XXX Strong Ale     78.80%       7.39% 86.19%
XXXX Strong Ale     78.80%       7.39% 86.19%
PAB Pale Ale 27.86% 54.64%   3.21%       85.71%
PA Pale Ale 27.86% 54.64%   3.21%       85.71%
P Porter     58.44%   7.79% 9.74% 5.84% 81.82%
S Stout     58.44%   7.79% 9.74% 5.84% 81.82%
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/1.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1970 Young Saxon Lager

I’m so glad that I have this. Another classic pseudo-Lager. And another with few Lager characteristics.

Let’s start with the recipe. At least most of the grist is lager malt. But there’s also some pale malt. Half of which was enzymic malt. Which, despite the name, was really used to adjust the pH of the mash. At least, that’s what Derek Prentice told me. And he should know. The flaked maize I guess is there just because they threw it into all their beers.

The mash was the same as for their other beers: an infusion, followed by an underlet and then a sparge. Not even the vaguest of nods to decoction.

The hops are, at least, all continental. A single type of Hallertau. With quite a lot of them added to the hop back.

Nothing very lagery about the fermentation temperature, which peaked at 63º F. They used their normal top-fermenting yeast. In this case, coming from an earlier batch of Special Bitter.

What made it a Lager, then. The, er. Lagering. Which the brewery claimed lasted ten weeks.  Was that enough, though? I’ll let you decide.

1970 Youngs Saxon Lager
lager malt 5.50 lb 80.41%
pale malt 0.67 lb 9.80%
flaked maize 0.67 lb 9.80%
Hallertau 120 min 1.50 oz
Hallertau 0 min 0.50 oz
OG 1031
FG 1006.5
ABV 3.24
Apparent attenuation 79.03%
IBU 24
SRM 2.5
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 57.5º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale


Tuesday 14 May 2024

Back in the USA

Oo, oo, ah, whoah, yeah.

After a long absence, I'll e back in the USA soon. Mostly in North Carolina. Also in Atlanta and Duluth.

I'll be giving five talks:

Sun 19th May    Good Word: AK Light Bitter
Wed 22nd May    Whaley Farm brewery: Stout
Thur 23rd May    Zebulon: Blitzkrieg brewing in WW II
Sun 26th May    Diatribe Brewing: Scotland
Mon 27th May    Little Animals: Brettanomyces in UK brewing

All of which should be lots of fun. Just hope the Blitzkrieg talk isn't too long. What the hell. I'm sure Mike won't mind.

At all of these event, there will be ample opportunity to buy a selection of my books. Or just chat with me. I'm a very approachable bloke. 

Not to be morbid, but I'm getting on. You never know how long I'm going to able to do these tours. Or can be arsed to do them. I may never tour the US again. Just bear that in mind.

Can't wait to be back in the USA.

Young's beers in 1932

Sadly, the oldest surviving brewing book from Youngs is only from 1932. Which is a shame, as I’d love to see what their beers were like before WW I.

The range consisted of eight beers. There were two Milds, which look like a 4d and a 5d per pint beer.
The weaker one, A, is about as weak as beer could be brewed, from an economic point off view. The minimum tax being set at that for a 1027 beer. It’s interesting that there’s no 6d per pint Mild. Which would have had an OG of around 1043. Many London brewers – Fullers and Barclay Perkins, for example – brewed a beer in this class.

Parti-gyled with the two Milds were two Burton Ales. The weaker of the two, XXX, looks like a standard draught Burton, with a gravity in the mid-1050s. The stronger of the two was only brewed in small quantities and is of a similar strength to Fullers Old Burton Extra. A beer which was sold on draught. So perhaps XXXX was, too.

There are two Pale Ales, PAB and PA. I suspect that the weaker of the two, PAB, was an exclusively bottled beer. Mostly because of the name. And the fact that it looks like a Light Ale. PA, on the other hand, look remarkably similar to the post-WW II SPA, better known as Special Bitter.

Rounding off the range are a Porter and a Stout. Porter was in terminal decline after WW I and about the only place in England where it was still brewed was London. Stout, on the other hand, was still pretty universally brewed. Though, outside London it was rarely seen on draught.

There’s quite a bit of variation in the rates of attenuation. It’s rather high, at over 80%, in the case of the Milds. And rather low, under 700%, for XXXX. Though it’s possible, since it was rather strong, that it underwent some secondary conditioning, Which would have lowered the FG.

The hopping rates are all pretty high, even in the Milds. Though they are generally similar to those at other London breweries. Though higher than at those outside the capital. 

Young's beers in 1932
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
A Mild 1027.7 1005.0 3.00 81.95% 7.81 0.91
X Mild 1035.5 1006.1 3.89 82.82% 6.90 1.00
XXX Strong Ale 1056.0 1016.6 5.21 70.36% 8.22 1.91
XXXX Strong Ale 1078.7 1029.4 6.52 62.64% 8.22 2.68
PAB Pale Ale 1035.7 1007.8 3.69 78.15% 9.80 2.14
PA Pale Ale 1045.7 1011.6 4.51 74.62% 9.80 2.74
P Porter 1034.1 1009.1 3.31 73.31% 7.00 1.02
S Stout 1052.1 1014.4 4.99 72.36% 7.00 1.55
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/1.

Monday 13 May 2024

Young's processes in 1975

A couple of processes are in the next table. Namely, boiling and fermentation.

The boiling times are a little on the long side at mostly 1.75 hours. A 90-minute boil was more usual at this point. Not really much more I can say about that.

Pitching temperatures, which are mostly in the low 60ºs F, are pretty typical. As is the pitching of the strong beers at a little under 60º F. The temperatures weren’t allowed to rise that high, mostly finishing around 70º F.

That also applies to Saxon Lager, which pitched a little cooler than the other beers of a similar gravity, but ended up at just under 70º F. Like their other beers.

All the beers – including Saxon Lager – had pretty much identical mashing schemes.

It’s a very typical mashing process, where an initial infusion is followed by an underlet and a couple of sparges. A very large number of English breweries mashed this way. 

Young's boil and fermentation in 1975
Beer Style boil time (hours) Pitch temp max. fermentation temp length of fermentation (days)
BMA Mild 1.5     62º F 68º F 8
PAB Pale Ale 1.75 1.75 1.75 62º F 69º F 6
YPV Pale Ale 1.75 1.75 1.75 62º F 68.5º F 8
PA Pale Ale 1.75 1.75 1.75 62º F 71º F 8
SPA Pale Ale 1.75 1.75 1.75 61º F 69º F 8
SPA Pale Ale 1.75 1.75 1.75 61º F 70º F 8
Ram Rod Pale Ale 1.75 1.75 1.75 61º F 70.25º F 8
EXPA Pale Ale 1.75 1.75 1.75 57º F 69.5º F 8
Winter Warmer Strong Ale 1.75 1.75   61.25º F 70º F 8
Old Nick Barley Wine 1.75 1.5   59º F 72º F 8
Saxon Lager 1.75 1.75   58.25º F 68º F 7
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/44.

SPA/PA mash 2nd April 1975
action barrels strike heat stand tap heat
mash 172 155º F 30 mins 140º F
underlet 18 180º F    
sparge 1 60 180º F   153º F
sparge 2 270 150º F   146º F
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/44.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Young's sugars in 1975

There are rather a lot of different sugars. Though not all in one beer. Everything except Export Pale Ale includes malt extract. Presumably for extra diastatic power.

In addition to malt extract, the Pale Ales also contain No. 3 invert sugar and tiny amounts of caramel. The latter, presumably, for colour correction.

In the dark beers, it’s Flo Sweet, DAS and CDM. Not sure what the first two are, but the last is Caramelised Dextro-Maltose, a less readily fermentable sugar which added body and colour.

Total sugar content is around 6.5% for the Pale Ales and 14% for the dark beers. 

Young's sugars in 1975
Beer Style malt extract no. 3 sugar Flo Sweet DAS CDM caramel total sugar
BMA Mild 3.16%   4.74% 4.74% 2.03%   14.67%
PAB Pale Ale 2.15% 4.30%       0.11% 6.55%
YPV Pale Ale 2.17% 4.34%       0.10% 6.62%
PA Pale Ale 2.15% 4.30%       0.03% 6.48%
SPA Pale Ale 2.22% 4.44%       0.06% 6.73%
SPA Pale Ale 2.15% 4.30%       0.06% 6.51%
Ram Rod Pale Ale 2.17% 4.35%       0.06% 6.58%
EXPA Pale Ale   4.44%       0.11% 4.55%
Winter Warmer Strong Ale 2.85%   5.71% 1.90% 1.07%   11.53%
Old Nick Barley Wine 3.06%   5.10% 5.10% 1.02%   14.29%
Saxon Lager 4.80%           4.80%
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/44.

Saturday 11 May 2024

Let's Brew - 1970 Youngs Special London Ale (EXPA)

The strongest Pale Ale in Young’s lineup was called EXPA in the brew house and was presumably first brewed for export. Though at some point it was sold in the UK under the name Special London Ale.

With an OG over 1060º, it looks very much like a pre-WW I Stock Pale Ale. At least in terms off strength. Which is typical of Pale Ales later in the 20th century which were brewed for export. They tended to not be affected by the fall in gravity of domestic beers.

The grist is quite different from the other Pale Ales. With neither flaked maize nor malt extract. I’m guessing that without the flaked maize there was no need for the extra enzymes from the malt extract.

There’s also a higher hopping rate than in the other Pale Ales. Which is reflected in the much higher level of bitterness. A single type of English hops were used. 

1970 Youngs Special London Ale (EXPA)
pale malt 11.25 lb 86.34%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.75 lb 13.43%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.03 lb 0.23%
Goldings 120 min 2.00 oz
Goldings 15 min 2.00 oz
OG 1062
FG 1018
ABV 5.82
Apparent attenuation 70.97%
IBU 41
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

Friday 10 May 2024

Young's grists in 1975

Grist next. The malt content is pretty high, varying between 76% in the Mild, to 95% in Export Pale Ale. The latter had an impact on some brew of the other Pale Ales, as PA, PAB and SPA were all sometimes parti-gyled with Export Pale Ale. Which left those particular brews with a higher malt content than the standard versions.

The base malt is, in most cases, pale malt. Except sometimes the Pale Ales had mostly PA malt, a posher version of pale malt. And Saxon, which, unsurprisingly, went for lager malt.

Crystal malt only turns up in the three dark beers: Mild, Winter Warmer and Old Nick. Demonstrating once again that crystal malt was by no means universal in Pale Ales, even long after WW II.

One malt appears in every beer: enzymic. Which was used to adjust the pH of the mash.

Flaked maize, UK brewers’ adjunct of choice, shows up in every beer except for the Export Pale Ale parti-gyle. 

Young's grists in 1975
Beer Style pale malt PA malt lager malt crystal malt enzymic malt total malt flaked maize
BMA Mild 61.63%     9.48% 4.74% 75.85% 9.48%
PAB Pale Ale 81.63%       3.22% 84.85% 8.59%
YPV Pale Ale 90.13%       3.26% 93.38%  
PA Pale Ale 27.95% 53.75%     3.22% 84.92% 8.60%
SPA Pale Ale 81.06%       3.33% 84.39% 8.88%
SPA Pale Ale 81.67%       3.22% 84.89% 8.60%
Ram Rod Pale Ale 80.38%   1.09%   3.26% 84.73% 8.69%
EXPA Pale Ale 92.12%       3.33% 95.45% 0.00%
Winter Warmer Strong Ale 68.49%     8.56% 2.85% 79.90% 8.56%
Old Nick Barley Wine 64.29%     9.18% 3.06% 76.53% 9.18%
Saxon Lager     77.19%   5.15% 82.33% 12.86%
Young's brewing record held at Battersea Library, document number YO/RE/1/44.